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Sbragia State Rush Merlot 2012

ID No: 441798
Country:United States
Regions:California
California (Napa)
Grape Type:Merlot
Winery:Sbragia Family Vineyards
Organic:Yes
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Arietta Hudson Vineyards Merlot 2012

Produced from the oldest planting of grapes on Lee Hudson’s heralded vineyard in the Napa Carneros, this latest offering of Arietta Merlot is one for the ages. Certainly a classic vintage, 2012 delivered fruit with brilliant purity, structure, and a strong sense of place. This unique—one might say historic—block of Merlot shows the best that this variety has to offer in California. Well-proportioned, fresh, flavorful, dark and complex, this wine is sure to impress lovers of Pomerol, and show that California is capable of producing Merlot wines with strength, yes, but also nuance, delicacy, and multiple layers of interest. This wine should continue to open and develop over the next decade, and age gracefully for another decade or two.


Review:

Arietta's 2012 Merlot emerges from the oldest vines on Lee Hudson's vineyard in Carneros. A dark, super-expressive wine, the Merlot is endowed with serious depth, power and structure. Brambly red fruit, smoke, tobacco and grilled herbs emerge from a surprisingly big, structured wine that should drink well for many, many years. -Antonio Galloni Vinous 95 points

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 95
Merriman Estate Pinot Noir Yamhill 2012

The 2012 Merriman Estate was made in only two barrels and shows the intense flavors that only the higher elevations of our vineyard can produce. You'll find sweet, oakey aromas with hints of cola and Indian spruce.
The front palate shows an initial red current and plum flavor, giving way to black fruits and a mid to end palate surge of the acids that made this vintage unique. Aromas of cola nut, cinnamon toast and wet underbrush persist throughout.

Grown at the highest elevation in our vineyard, these two blocks planted with Pommard and Wadenswil clones were allowed the longest hang time during the ripening phase of an especially warm growing season.

The berries were hand sorted block by block, and only the more perfect berries allowed through to fermentation. Cold soaked for twenty days, the free run juice is bled off into the Rosé. New French oak from the Vosges and Allier forests are used to age the wine, giving it a fuller, silky palate.

ABV: 14.1

 


Review:

From vines planted in 1999, this nicely oaked effort shows full ripeness without sacrificing details of forest and mushroom. Cherry cola, iron ore and a palate-pleasing dose of barrel toast all contribute to the lengthy finish. 92 Point Wine Enthusiast

 Wine Enthusiast: 92
Gamba Estate Old Vines Zinfandel 2012

The original and flagship wine for GAMBA Vineyards and Winery from our family Estate Vineyard in the Russian River Valley planted in 1900.

Tasting Notes: Deep garnet in color with a cherry preserve nose, highlighted by red plum and dried cranberry, this wine promises a classic expression of Zinfandel on the palate. Beginning with an appealing mix of spicy berry aromas and flavors, the wine expands into medium to full bodied ripe briary fruit of plum, black cherry, earth minerals, and white pepper.

The texture is silky smooth, with elegant tannins, integrated with a subtle brown spice. The long cherry kirsch-filled finish is punctuated by firm but gentle tannins. With ample acidity, the balanced framework, effusive fruit, and a smooth lingering finish, this wine will drink wonderfully for several years to come.

Product Description

 

SALE

A unique and altogether delicious blend of 85% Merlot, 7.5% Petite Sirah and 7.5% Cabernet Franc.  Aged in French Nevers oak barrels, the finished wine has lush, ripe red fruit with attractive notes of spice and peppercorn.  The tannins are soft and supple and the wine carries a long, smooth finish.

Winery: Sbragia Family Vineyards

Sbragia Family Vineyards Estate

Sbragia Family Vineyards is located in the beautiful Dry Creek Valley and is where winemakers, Ed and Adam Sbragia, make their limited production wine. A third generation Dry Creek Valley vintner, Ed is well known for his position as Winemaster at Beringer Vineyards in Napa. He began working at Beringer in 1976, working under legendary winemaker, Myron Nighingale. During his career, Ed has become one of California’s most talented and respected winemakers. The Sbragia family history runs deep in the Dry Creek Valley. Ed’s grandfather came to the valley from Tuscany in 1904, where he worked in wineries, starting at the Italian Swiss Colony. Ed’s father, Gino, acquired his own vineyards near Healdsburg, growing zinfandel grapes for sale and home winemaking. "He made excellent wine," says Ed, "and he taught me that making wine is a very natural process – that good grapes and good techniques will always make good red wine."

In 2001, Ed created his own label, Sbragia Family Vineyards, to focus on making limited, individual lots of wine from grapes grown in select blocks of his favorite vineyards in Dry Creek, Napa, and Sonoma. Five of the wines, including Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Merlot and two Zinfandels, are sourced from Sbragia family-owned estate vineyards that range in size from five to thirteen acres. Like his tenure with Beringer, Ed continues to make “big reds,” including Cabernets from Howell Mountain, Mt. Veeder, Sonoma Mountain and Alexander Valley. The wines all exhibit Ed’s distinctive and acclaimed style – big, rich, balanced and polished.

The Sbragia Family Vineyard

At Sbragia Family Vineyards, we source grapes from about 50 acres of family-owned vineyards the Sbragias have been farming for over 100 years in Historic Dry Creek Valley. Ed & Adam also purchase grapes from their favorite vineyards throughout Sonoma and Napa Valleys. I’ve always had one foot in Sonoma and the other in Napa. Both areas mean a lot to me emotionally. I’m more attached to Dry Creek because it’s where I raised my kids. But the wines that I’ve made at Beringer are like children, so Napa is also a very special place to me.

Dry Creek Valley:
Dry Creek Valley, a premium winegrowing region, is located in Northern Sonoma County, California, only an hour north of the Golden Gate Bridge/San Francisco.
Renowned for its idyllic undisturbed beauty, Dry Creek Valley is home to over 9,000 acres of vineyards that carpet the intimate 16-mile long x 2-mile wide valley, floor to hillside. With a grape growing history going back 140 years – one of the longest in California – producing premium winegrapes is core to this region. In fact, the valley boasts one of the densest concentrations of Old Vine Zinfandel in the world.

Alexander Valley:
Located at the northern end of Sonoma County, the Alexander Valley is 22 miles long and varies in width from two to seven miles. On the hillsides to the east and west, and adjacent to the beautiful Russian River winding along the valley floor, the valley is home to a diversity of microclimates that support the growth of many wine grape varieties including Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and many more.

Sonoma Valley:
The Sonoma Valley AVA centers on the Sonoma Valley (also known as The Valley of the Moon) in the southern portion of the county. The appellation is bordered by two mountain ranges: the Mayacamas Mountains to the east and the Sonoma Mountains to the west.
Along with being the area where so much of Sonoma County's winemaking history took place, the area is known for its unique terroir, with Sonoma Mountain protecting the area from the wet and cool influence of the nearby Pacific Ocean. 
One finds a wide disparity between valley floor and mountain soils; those found in flatter, valley areas tend to be quite fertile, loamy and have better water-retention while the soils at higher elevations are meager, rocky and well-drained. In general, the structure, rather than the composition of the soil, is the deciding factor where grape plantings are concerned.

Napa Valley:
Though just 30 miles long and a few miles wide, Napa Valley is home to diverse microclimates and soils uniquely suited to the cultivation of a variety of fine wine grapes. Among the internationally acclaimed wines produced in this small region are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel and Cabernet Franc.

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Marcassin Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2013

Marcassin Sonoma Coast Chardonnay is made from 100 percent Chardonnay. 


The 2013 Chardonnay Marcassin Vineyard may be even better. Notes of caramelized citrus, hazelnut, apple blossom, lemon oil and orange marmalade are all present in this wine of dazzling aromatic and flavor dimension. It is full-bodied, again shows some wet pebbles (which I equate with minerality), vibrant acidity, and no real evidence of any oak. Much like the 2012, the finish goes on for 45+ seconds. This is another killer Chardonnay from Helen Turley and John Wetlaufer. -Wine Advocate 100 Points

What an extraordinary tasting this was at the Marcassin winery just north of Santa Rosa in Sonoma County. Just when you think the duo of Helen Turley and John Wetlaufer can’t make greater wines, they bowl over the taster with an array of exquisite quality that really must be tasted to be believed. Marcassin was probably California’s greatest Chardonnay after the famous Chalone winery fell from the pinnacle and onto hard times in the 1980s (and it has yet to rebound). Moreover, Marcassin set the bar for great Pinot Noir as well. And while both their Chardonnay and Pinot Noir have many competitors these days (from the likes of Harford Court, Mark Aubert, Kistler, Kongsgaard, DuMol, Thomas Brown, Peter Michael, Martinelli and Luc Morlet, to name a few), John Wetlaufer and Helen Turley remain the reigning geniuses of these two varietals in California. Certainly, their meticulous attention to detail in both the vineyard and in the winemaking and élevage account for the quality, but they were among the pioneers who saw the unlimited potential from the Sonoma Coast, now a relatively crowded neighborhood. This was a remarkable tasting that simply blew me away, and I have been following their wines since the first Marcassins were made in the early 1990s. By the way, any doubts about aging potential should be crushed immediately, as even in the most challenging vintages in California, Marcassin Chardonnays and Pinots have aged as well as, if not better than just about any grand cru white Burgundy. For example, 1995 and 1996 Chardonnays, particularly those from the Lorenzo Vineyard, are incredibly youthful and dynamic, and the Marcassin Estate Pinot Noir, even from vintages such as 1998, is simply amazing. The three Chardonnays tasted include two perfect wines. Perhaps the closest comparison is not to anything made in California, but a Corton-Charlemagne in a top vintage from the famous Jean François Coche-Dury.



 Wine Advocate: 100